Kennel Cough Strikes yet Again!

Kennel Cough in the Comox Valley is a hot topic yet again this week. Here at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we have had a surge of patient calls and visits for this reason and would like to share a few basics on what we are seeing, what you can do, and when to see your veterinarian.

When we use the term “kennel cough,” it is a very broad term that basically includes several different viruses that can cause a cough and other respiratory symptoms. The symptoms we hear about most often are: a dog is coughing, coughing to the point of retching, choking or honking sound, presence of phlegm or whitish fluid being coughed or gagged up as a result of coughing, runny nose and eyes, sneezing and/or reverse sneezing. In most common cases, these symptoms resolve after two weeks and can be safely treated at home.

What to do if your dog starts coughing:

  • Give your dog plenty of rest and downtime, no vigorous play.
  • Keep your dog away from busy dog areas. Kennel Cough is extremely contagious, do your part not to spread the outbreak!
  • Help your dog to drink more fluids, consider adding some healthy broth to the water bowl to increase fluid intake.
  • Keep a closer eye on your pet to make sure that more serious symptoms don’t occur.

When to call your vet:

  • You have an immuno-compromised pet, a senior pet or a young puppy who has developed respiratory symptoms you are concerned with.
  • Your dog has a fever (temperature over 39.2 degrees centigrade)
  • Your dog becomes lethargic, non-responsive, stops eating or drinking, stops eliminating.
  • Is having a really hard time breathing- not just coughing.
  • Your dog has been coughing for over two weeks, and symptoms aren’t resolving.

Just like in human medicine, being vaccinated for Kennel Cough does not mean your pets are immune to all strains of the virus. What most veterinarians vaccinate for which falls under the “kennel cough umbrella” is:

  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica (in the oral Bordetella vaccine)
  • Distemper Virus (in your pet’s core DAP vaccine)
  • Canine Adenovirus (in the DAP vaccine)
  • Parainfluenza (included in both the core DAPP vaccine and the intranasal Bordetella vaccine)

If you are trying to prevent your animal from becoming infected with Kennel Cough, stay clear of dog parks and doggy daycare while the virus is evident in the community. While out walking, try to avoid stopping to sniff or “have a play” with other unknown dogs and remember that the virus can be contagious after symptoms have resolved, so respect your fellow dogs by staying close to home if your dog is under the weather.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 250.334.8400.

Written by: Van Isle Veterinary Hospital



Get a Cupcake and Support BC Animals in Need During Treat Week (Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2020)

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.

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Last updated: July 5, 2021

Dear Clients,

At this time, we will be maintaining our current health and safety policies as the province entered the next stage of on July 1, 2021.

Note: We will not be making changes to our health and safety policy until our staff have had the opportunity to receive their second vaccine.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

As you can imagine, we have a significant backlog of surgeries and wellness/vaccine exams to catch up on and we will be working hard over the next several weeks to do just that. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Although restrictions have been lifted, our health and safety protocols have not. It is important we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Worksafe BC and social distance our large team as much as possible. This means although we can offer these elective services, we are doing much fewer during the day than we were pre-COVID.


As of July 7, 2021, we are excited to invite our clients back into the exam rooms! We have put some important safety measures in place to help keep our clients and our team safe.


The use of our online store for easy ordering, payment and delivery of our pet's food, flea and tick medications. Orders over $100 can be delivered to your home for free! CLICK HERE


During the first 8 weeks of COVID, we were operating as a 24-hour facility to better serve our community and to maintain social distancing within our team. However, as the COVID-19 situation changes, so do we!

Our team of doctors felt it was important to get back to performing your pet's much needed regular services. In order to do so safely, we had to once again change the way we do business. 

As such, effective October 6, 2020, we will no longer be available for after-hours, on call services between midnight and 7:00 am. After-hours emergency care will be referred to Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital between the hours of midnight - 7:00 am. They can be reached at 250-933-0913.

We will continue to be available until midnight for your call-in, after hours needs.

Our regular hours of operation remain the same:

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

We are all looking forward to this next stage in our Province’s reopening and the future is looking bright! Thank you for helping us make this transition as safe as possible, so our team can be at its best and continue to look after your pet!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital